Updated / Fall Dashboard make-over detailed

This fall, the Xbox 360’s Dashboard update will do something that no other update has ever done. It will completely redesign the interface from top to bottom.

Yup, the rumors of a “3D dashboard makeover” seem to have had some basis in reality. The brand new interface was demoed for the crowd and it seems to have generated quite a bit of excitement in the gaming community. The first thing you’ll notice is that it seems much cleaner and uncluttered compared to the current “blade” system.

The different sections of the Dashboard are represented by semi-transparent labels on the far left hand side of the screen, and as you scroll through them, each of the sections appears as its own floating page within the dashboard. It’s rather aesthetically pleasing and (in my opinion) an improvement over the current style.

Another aspect of the new interface was confirmed in the form of Avatars. Rumors surrounding these virtual gamer representatives have been swirling ever since the massive Intellisponse leak a few weeks back. The avatars will appear on your screen within the dashboard and represent each gamers online identity. You’ll also use the avatars in games such as the new Uno Rush or 1-vs-100.

Speaking of game shows, the Xbox 360 will be the place to go for those as well. Microsoft has several casual-oriented titles headed to the Xbox 360 such as Xbox LIVE Trivia. More is expected to be announced regarding those titles as the release approaches.

Here’s a list of things, if you like umm..lists:

  • Play from hard drive. Copy your games from the game disc and play directly from the hard drive. Not only will the drive not spin, but load times are quicker, as well. Of course, you will still need the disc in the tray to prove you own the game.
  • Access Xbox LIVE Marketplace on the Web. Browse and purchase Marketplace content whenever you want from Xbox.com and it downloads automatically to your console. Purchase that new map, television episode, the latest Xbox LIVE Arcade game or set up a movie to watch when you get home from work.
  • Dashboard built into the new Xbox Guide. For everyone who loves the blades interface, it’s not going away; they are now built directly in to the new Xbox guide. Every feature and option is available right from the guide. You can even access your full games library at all times. No matter where you are (in dash or in game), immediately call up your games played list and directly launch a game.
  • LIVE Party system. Create a party of up to eight friends, and stay with them from one game to another, or watch a Netflix movie together, or share a slideshow of your personal photos. It works with all Xbox 360 titles, not just upcoming games. LIVE Party allows up to eight people to chat in the dashboard, so you can meet up before playing.Xbox LIVE Primetime. This whole new category of games is going to give you more reasons to get online with your friends. Games will support everything you’d expect, like Achievements and leader boards, but many of these games will include real prizes. You can invite your friends, and even set a reminder for an upcoming show. Each game is broadcast simultaneously, so everyone is answering the same questions. Many events will have a live host, calling the shots as they happen.
  • Avatars. Your online identity started as a Gamertag – it then grew into a personalized Gamercard. Now, it has evolved even further into avatars. You can express your style, check out new outfits and share this with the community. Avatars will also be integrated into Xbox LIVE Arcade games, LIVE Party, as well as retail games.
  • New display support. Because you asked for it, we are adding 16X10 over VGA or HDMI, and support for 1440×900 or 1680×1050.